By Awayi Kuje
The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has called for the release of the National Commandant, Peace Corps of Nigeria, Mr Dickson Akor.
The Chairman of the council in Nasarawa State, Mr Mohammed Bako, made the appeal on Thursday at news conference in Lafia.
Bako criticised the recent attack on the headquarters of corps in by the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force and Department of State Security (DSS).
He also condemned the subsequent arrest of the national commandant of the corps and other principal officers of the organisation by the security operatives.
“This ugly incident by the Nigeria police and DSS is coming on peak of the passing of the Bill of the Nigerian Peace Corps by the National Assembly. The bill is only awaiting presidential assent.
“Peace Corps is a Voluntary Youths Organisation (VYO-NGO) affiliated to the National Youth Council of Nigeria with the primary aims and objectives of training the teeming youths of Nigeria in civil education and duties, volunteerism and community service for the nation’s benefit.
“Instead of the police to seek for collaboration with the Peace Corps in bridging the gap of insecurity in the country, they instead engaged on this illegal action of closing the Peace Corps office and detaining their principal officers.
“This development is unprovoked, unwarranted and therefore illegal, and hence generating undue animosity between the Peace Corps, the police, DSS and therefore condemnable.
“It is in view of the above that the Youth Council in Nasarawa state is calling on well-meaning Nigerians and indeed the youths to appeal to Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari, to append his signature to the bill and finally put to rest this controversy,” he said.
According to him, the bill will go long way in enhancing peaceful co-existence, help in augmenting the efforts of security agencies as well as fight the high rate of unemployment and crime in the country, if signed into law, among other benefits.
Bako explained that the bill would avail employment opportunity to the army of unemployed youths across all states and local government areas of the federation been the change mantra of the present administration on job creation.
He called on its members in the state to be wary of a certain organisation called National Unity and Peace Corps, pointing out that it is not the same as the Peace Corps and it is not known to the council.
The state youth council chairman also called on Nigerians especially youths to live in peace; be law abiding, respect constituted authority, vigilant, responsible and productive in the support of genuine efforts towards nation building.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Akor and other principal officers at the organisation headquarter in Abuja were arrested on Feb. 28, by a combined team of security operatives.
Akoh, who is facing trial on alleged conspiracy and extortion, was also accused of using unauthorised uniforms and training facilities.